Aramco Trading Co., which expects to see its oil trading volume rise to six million barrels per day by next year, has opened its second international office after Singapore, in Fujairah, UAE.
The event was attended by the firm’s chairman and head of Saudi Aramco Downstream Abdulaziz M. Al-Judaimi, and CEO Ibrahim Al-Buainain.
Aramco Trading’s expansion plans are expected to propel the Dhahran-based company into the top tier of global fuel-trading companies. The wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company by crude oil production, opened the office in the UAE Emirate of Fujairah as part of a global push into new markets to secure buyers for refined products as well as crude.
The new facility, Aramco Trading Fujairah (ATF), will handle all Aramco Trading gasoline and fuel oil storage and blending activities. The opening ceremony was also attended by local dignitaries, including Sharief Habib Al Awadhi, director general of the Fujairah Free Zone, Capt. Mousa Morad, managing director of the Port of Fujairah, and Capt. Salem Abdullah Al Hamoudi, director of the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ).
Al-Judaimi said: “We have been in Fujairah for a number of years and as our trading business expands globally – between Singapore, Saudi Arabia, London, Houston – we trade across different time zones, and Fujairah as the centre of our blending operations, we thought it is important to be here, physically doing trading as a business in Fujairah. We are very happy with the relationships here, be it with our clients, our suppliers and the government – they have been very open and have welcomed us to be here for many years.”
Al-Buainain said: “Aramco Trading has experienced significant growth in recent years. We started in 2012 with 600,000 to 700,000 b/d and now we’re operating at more than 4 million b/d – and as the downstream business grows to the level that we want to reach 8-10 million b/d – Aramco Trading will grow together with that business. At Fujairah, we have a growing business that started with 100,000 b/d and now we have 350,000 b/d between gasoline and fuel oil. So, for this reason, Fujairah would be the optimum location that is close to our assets close to the free zone.”
The inauguration of the new office facility comes only a month after Aramco Trading announced that it had sold its first LNG cargo, the first of many more to come. In 2012, ATC was established to market refined products, and bulk petrochemicals. Beginning with refined products from its overseas refineries in the past years, leading them to introduce trading non-Saudi crude oil in 2017 as the world’s largest oil exporter successfully optimizes profits.
As the UAE’s only Emirate on the Arabian Sea coast, Fujairah is at the heart of the new energy corridor opening East of Suez to Asia. The Emirate is already established as a world-scale storage and bunkering centre alongside Rotterdam and Singapore and is set to benefit in the next few years from companies’ plans to expand crude and petroleum product facilities to avail of the state-of-the-art physical infrastructure on offer.